A MAN from Sauchie has avoided a prison sentence after pleading guilty to drug dealing.

Paul Byrne pleaded guilty to the single charge of being concerned in the supply of drugs on December 4 and appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court last Thursday for sentencing.

Susannah Hutchison, fiscal depute, told the court that on August 20 a warrant was granted to search the home of Byrne on Sprottwell Terrace.

Four days later officers searched the home and found a total of 218g of cannabis which had a street value of £2,380.

Police also found £2,000 in rolls of £100, a wallet with £605 in it as well as scales and a grinder. Two mobile phones were also seized.

According to Ms Hutchison, Byrne told officers after he was arrested that the money in the wallet were his wages and the £2,000 were his savings.

Byrne's defence agent told the court that his client had a "very limited record" with no previous drug offences.

He added that the 33-year-old had a very good work ethic over the years and that after suffering a back injury which led to sciatica, he started using cannabis heavily himself to ease the pain.

From there, he began selling to friends in order to fund his own habit.

Sheriff David Mackie told Byrne: "An offence of this nature absolutely justifies a custodial sentence."

On this occasion, however, Sheriff Mackie ordered Byrne to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work.

He also granted a forfeiture order for the mobile phones despite the defence solicitor arguing that neither of the phones formed part of the Crown case into his client.